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Marist College

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What should every freshman at your school know before they start?

The beautiful and unfortunate thing about the college experience is that while there is a lot to be learned about life, it can only truly be appreciated once experienced. That being said, rather than advice about college I think a few words of encouragement would be the best thing that Present Me would be able to offer to Past Me. These words of encouragement are simple: don't sweat it! Going into college I was excited but also very scared that I would not be able to figure out what I wanted to do with my life, or worse, that I would fail at ever getting my life together. Surely enough without realizing it, each class I took and each friend and teacher I met, brought me from wandering aimlessly to walking a direct path. What Present Me would love to tell Past Me is just the reassurance that I will pull through the rough times ahead and that the best is yet to come!

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You really never know until you get there how you're going to feel. It's really important to try as many things as you can before you decide to stay. And honestly, if you're unhappy, transfer! There is no sense wasting money to go a school you will be miserable at if you remain there. But go where you think you feel most at home. If a campus isn't diverse, don't be surprised when everyone acts the same. You need to be able to maintain a sense of self, and not get lost in the crowd. Your college experience should be about you- so go ahead, be an officer in 3 clubs, take electives in things you actually like, and take advantage of everything your college is willing to offer you. It's not all parties and booze, it's about the experiences and memories you'll walk away with. So put yourself first, make yourself happy, and live it to the fullest.

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If I were to go back in time to talk to myself asa high school senior here is what I would say. First I would tell myself that college life is not easy as high school life and to prepare myself more by studying harder, reading more, asking for help, appyling for more scholarships, getting better grades, etc. I would also tell myself to search more for colleges that provide financial help for me so I can get a better education. I would advice myself to become more mature emotionallly and physically so I will be more prepared and ready for school. Another thing I would do is make myself more confident so I will feel less insecure about myself and my abilities. Finally, the last part of advice I would give myself is to keep my head up and to choose the right major of my choice so I can follow my dreams and never settle for less and give up.

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Don't talk - just listen. You're not ready to go to college. I know Mom and Dad have drilled it into your head that people who take a year off are losers, but guess what: you need a break. Go hitchhike out west or live with your sister in London for a year. You're 18 years old and you're starting to crack from real and imagined pressures - if you go to the safety school you got into, it's going to end badly. Trust me; I've been there. Oh, and all those people you think are so important? That girl you're so nuts for? Forget them. People change. They'll change, and you'll change, and in two years you'll have more in common with complete strangers than with this bunch. Your life is about to get interesting whether you heed my advice or not, but if I were you and could do it all again - I'd take the year. Go have some adventures.

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College isn't as difficult as high school, in fact, it is much easier because you have more time and freedom to do the work without feeling too pressured. As long as you stay focused and do the work, then you will have no problems getting satisfactory grades. You have to remember that you are no longer in high school and the professors won't make you do the work if you are late. As an adult, you have your own responsibilities to get things done and hand it in on time. The professor is there to help you with anything you need, but you have to get to class by yourself and do the work when it is due. You must also remember that you are not alone, every other person on campus is new to the school or was new, they don't know any one and is experiencing the same things. Make friends so you can get through it together.

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The best thing that I have gotten out of my college experience is my real world experience. I will graduate with the ability to fully immerse myself in the working world without anxiety about what I will encounter. I will have the experience of already working in a classroom, since I am a Biology Education major, and I will fully understand how to best apply my teaching skills to a real classroom. I will begin my career ahead of my peers who have graduated from other schools, and that will translate into the classrooms that I teach in by benefitting my students. My school has taught me how to cater to every kind of student that I will encounter in order to give them the best education possible. I am fully confident that I am getting an education that will most benefit me, and the students that I teach.

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It's not about being "cool," it's about being yourself and finding what makes you happy. This is the best advice I could have given to me impressionable, confused high school senior self. It took me too long into my transition into college to realize that it does not matter if you fit in with the "cool crowd," but that you surround yourself with the people and activities that make you happy. Find others with similar interests, and form relationships with them, as they will help you grow into a happier version of yourself. I would also advise myself to more thorougly consider employment opportunities in certain fields before choosing a major. If I went back, I would choose a more practical major than communications, like math or business where there are more higher-income employment opportunities.

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To find the college of your choice, the price and distance from home should never been influence. You should make sure to find the time to actually visit the school. Transferring to a college makes it twice as hard to fit into the community of the school. Be sure to engage yourself or your children in the ideals of a home away from home. To make the most of a college experience, join clubs, sports, and make sure you go out alot outside the school. Get familiar with the town outside of school. The best thing to do academically is to communicate with your professors. Professors are people too! They are almost always willing to give you time to complete unfinished assignments and understand when you can't attend class, as long as you are upfront and honest.

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Although the point of attending college is for the education, everyone knows how integral the friends and memories are to the experience. When I arrived at Marist, my only option for friends was to meet new people because no one from my high school was coming with me. I was very excited about this, until the first few days of school. In the beginning, it was very awkward for everyone. Despite how uncomfortable I felt, I decided to put myself out there in attempts to meet new people. After doing this for a few weeks, I developed a great group of friends that I loved to spend time with and have dinner with. If I could go back to senior year, I would tell myself that it takes effort to find friends and build relationships, but in the end it is worth it.

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First a student must visit the school possibly for a weekend. This is so that the student feels "at home" away from home. For the most part he or she should fit in with the type of person they are, howerver keeping in mind that there should always be diversity as well that is the way a person grows as an individual. Whether or not a student goes to college far from home or stays close living on a campus is benefical for a student to learn responsiblities and finding out how to handle life situations. Talking to other srudents that already attend to sense if they are serious in their academics is important. Ultimately the choice must be the students in order for there to be the potential for success.

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